brighteyedgoddess said: hello there! i wanted to start off by saying that i love your blog and its amazing that youre so sweet and how much you help people. Im concerned that i have bipolar as i exhibit many of the syptems but i also have an anxiety disorder and for whatever reason i am always paranoid that people will not believe me when i say that i think i have bipolar which has stopped me from seeking help, i just moved to chicago for college so the doctors here dont know me so im afraid that theyll think (1/2)
2/3 think that i am lying for some reason?? i know that that sounds really weird and that a medical proffesionall would listen but im just im not sure and so im not sure if you awnser this type of thing but i was wondering what i should say to htem so they understand?? Im sorry i know you dont know me and i hope this isnt weird i just ive felt manic before and ive had the sympotms but i put it down as my adhd or anxiety but im really not feeling like myself and idk what to say to a new therapist
3/3 (last one i promise) and i just oh im sorry im just feeling really odd nad i hope this isnt too strange, any help you have would be great and if you dont thats okay too, youre really great and im sorry for this long message. Im calling a therapist today to schedaul an appointment cause i think i need to talk about this, but my phyciatrist is back in michigan im sorry that none of this message made sense but youre amazing and thank you for any advice you may have
Thank you for your positive feedback! I am glad that you are finding A Bipolar Blog useful.
Your concern comes through very clearly, and I can certainly empathize with the anxiety you feel about bringing forth your concerns to a new mental health professional. I have to find a new doctor myself for the first time in eight years, and even though I’m pretty stable, I’m really anxious about it! Because of the stigma related to mental illness, many people who are struggling with their mental health find it scary to reach out for help. Bipolar disorder tends to carry more stigma than other illnesses such as unipolar depression, and if you’ve had problems in the past with health professionals dismissing your mental health concerns, I can see where that paranoia comes from. I want you to know that your feelings are normal, and even though they may be a little overwhelming, they don’t have to prevent you from reaching out for help. You did it already by sending a message to me, and it sounds as though you were ready to take action and call a therapist, so yay you!
What symptoms are you currently experiencing? You mentioned something about feeling manic, could you be more specific? It is possible that what you’re feeling is a combination of your ADHD and anxiety, but a clinician would have to be the one to determine that. Some medications for ADHD and recreational drug use can trigger manic symptoms, and there are medical conditions that can mimic the symptoms of bipolar, so it is important that you see a medical professional who can order tests to rule these out.
When bringing your concerns to a professional, take your time and explain your feelings the best you can. It may be helpful, especially if you’re anxious, to write down the feelings you are experiencing before hand and bring it to the appointment with you. Instead of handing it over to the doctor/therapist to look over, read it out loud to them so you know they are getting the info. They will probably ask you a number of questions so just remain calm, try to be as specific as you can in your answers, and if you get an inkling that your message isn’t getting across, take a breath and try again. Don’t be afraid to ask questions yourself! The person you see will probably want to know about any current stressors in your life, how your eating and sleeping have been, as well as your activity level. If you are on any medications, they will want to know if you’ve been taking them regularly. It would be a good idea to include this information on the paper with your list of symptoms so you remember and have clear answers to give.
Clinicians are scientists, so they really like to quantify things. Rating scales are typically their first language. I use them sometimes when my clients are having a hard time expressing their feelings. When I meet bipolar clients, I always ask them how their mood is that day. I ask them to rate it on a scale from -10 to +10: -10 being suicidal, -6 being moderately depressed, 0 being stable, +6 being hypomanic, and +10 being full-blown manic. It’s quick, simple, and it makes it easier for me to monitor their well-being over time. If you think it would benefit you, tell the doctor/therapist that you find it easier to rate how you’re doing on a scale; I’m sure they would be more than happy to adjust their questions so that you can do so (less paper-work for them! haha).
I hope that helps. If you have any other questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask! My inbox is always open and don’t worry about the length of ask!